After making the right noises at numerous worldwide film festivals, S Durga a film which tells the story of a couple running away in the night and their encounters with sexist people will now not be screened at IFFI.
The festival, slated for November 20-28, is the oldest and most prestigious film festival in India, Mehr News Agency reported. We are all working filmmakers and film professionals. The film had been cleared by the jury as had been another film, Nude, which did not meet with the approval of the I&B mandarins.
Soon after the announcement was made by the Ministry, one of the jury members Apurva Asrani took to Twitter to share his dismay.
Miffed with the ministry's interference and not being kept in the loop, a few jury members had also written to the ministry, expressing their disappointment with its move. "In this case the jury's decision was final and if the ministry cannot provide a satisfactory explanation, their decision can be ruled as arbitrary action".
According to reports, two movies recommended by the Jury- "Sexy Durga" and "Nude" under the Panorama section, were dropped from the final list approved by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. "Nobody informed me about the decision".
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The opening film for the festival now is the Hindi film "Pihu" by Vinod Kapry. However, it eventually played at the festival after the film was given U/A certificate by the Central Board for Film Certification.
The director said some jury members told him the two films were in the list given to the ministry. "I don't want to take away from the merit of the other films that we select and that are being shown".
The sources added that "Nude" could not make the cut as the submission was "technically incomplete".Film director Ruchi Narain, a member of the jury, said she respected Ghosh's decision to resign. "I am really disappointed and shocked to hear that it has been dropped". "Right now, the controversy is around Nude and S Durga but there are other good films that need to be watched and lauded so I don't wish to officially disassociate myself from the Panorama".
"Sexy Durga is now part of Indian Panorama section at IFFI and will now be exhibited at Goa and across India", Singh, a producer-director, tweeted on November 9, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani.